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“I started listening to vinyl because it was the major format when I started buying my own music. I bought tapes and CDs for years, but I’m so glad I got back into vinyl. I love the sound and the large format artwork. You also really need to consider what you feel like listening to before you put something on. It’s a small event.”


WRITER: MIKE MCLEOD

PHOTOGRAPHY:  HAYDEN PHIPPS


FUGAZI
IN ON THE KILL TAKER
1993 / DISCORD RECORD

It was really difficult choosing 6 records for this article. But picking one Fugazi album was the hardest task. Their music has been the soundtrack to my life for the past 20 something years. My good friend Adrian got me into them sometime in the early 90s. They’ve been on hiatus for years and it doesn’t really look like they’ll be re-forming anytime soon. I never had the opportunity to see them play live, but there is no band I’d give more to see.  I think I chose this album because it’s one of the ones I listen to most. They originally recorded it with Steve Albini but scrapped it as unsatisfactory. Weird, but I’m glad they did.

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BEIRUT
THE RIP TIDE
2011 / POMPEII RECORDS

I saw Beirut play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with my wife Pam while we were on honeymoon. It was a toss-up that day to either see them or go to a Crystal Stilts show. Pam and I had both been fans of the band before but seeing Zach Condon play with a full brass band was quite something. Choosing the Beirut show was a good call – one of the best shows I’ve seen. Their new album, No No No has just recently been released and it’s good, but The Rip Tide is much more solid for me. Every song is fantastic.

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WU – TANG CLAN
ENTER THE WU – TANG (36 CHAMBERS)
1993 / RCA RECORDS

This is an album that I’ve been listening to for the past 22 years. In my opinion it’s the best hip-hop album ever recorded. It really is hard to beat the Wu. This crazy guy in high school, Elton, introduced me to it and I’ll never forget driving at high speed to White Horse listening to it. I saw Wu Tang play in at the Brixton Academy in London a few years later while touring their Wu-Tang Forever follow-up album. Absolutely the worst show I’ve ever seen. I think it was documented somewhere as the worst show they had ever performed. RZA missed his plane, so the rest was chaos. I really want to see them again though.

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JOY DIVISION
UNKNOWN PLEASURES
1979 / FACTORY RECORDS

I remember being at a vinyl sale a few years back when there were no real record stores in Jo’burg. A vendor asked me what I was after and I mentioned this record. He laughed a very dismissive laugh and said “no chance”. I’d been on the hunt for a copy ever since and eventually came across this picture disc in a Berlin flea market. It’s not in the best condition and picture discs are never the best quality sound-wise, but I had to buy it. It’s a seminal album by one of my favourite bands, containing one of my all-time favourite songs, New Dawn Fades. I have my friend Justin to thank for introducing me to them. I remember listening to dodgy mp3s on dodgy computer speakers – the picture disc is much better.

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THE STONE ROSES
THE STONE ROSES
1989 / SILVERTONE RECORDS

Whenever I’m not sure what to put on, I keep going back to this record. It’s brilliant from start to finish. It’s difficult to pick a favourite song. Maybe Made from Stone. Well, for this week anyway. I can’t remember where I picked up this copy. The sleeve is in pretty rough condition, including a chopped off corner but the disc is perfect. My copy is a UK 1989 original Silvertone version without the Fools Gold addition of later re-releases.  It’s got a great warm sound. Another band that I would have loved to see in their prime. They’re touring again, might be worth a trip.  An essential album and one of my best.

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NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
ABATTOIR BLUES / THE LYRE OF ORPHEUS
2004 / MUTE RECORDS

This album reminds me of the first iteration of our record store in Juta Street, Braamfontein – Aware Records. I used to freelance from there during the weeks. It was a great place to work from, surrounded by records and friends. The stories that Nick Cave tells on the album are dark but fun – Fable of the Brown Ape, The Lyre of Oprheus, Cannibals Hymn. Then there are also fantastically elegant tracks like There She Goes, My Beautiful World, Easy Money and Carry me. It’s a brilliant double album. I’d searched for a copy for ages until I eventually found a reissue earlier this year in Barcelona. It’s becoming a ‘most-played’ album in my house.

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